Bird Droppings March 22, 2011
Far too often we forget to be thankful for what we have and perhaps for what we do not have. I tend to rise at an early hour and sit check emails and review ideas for my daily journaling and of late go in to see if my grandbaby is sleeping. Today was no exception and standing looking at her holding on to a tiny teddy bear that she plays with sound asleep makes for a great start to a day. I walked outside since our dog was being lazy and would not wake up so my journey into the darkness was alone. I stood for several minutes listening and looking listening and seeing a world coming awake. The super moon was slowly dissipating and now at about three quarters of what it was only a few nights back. The night creatures were quiet as the ambient temperature was hovering around fifty degrees a bit cold for crickets and tree frogs. So the call of a bird out in the meadow was about the only sound of the morning. I found my self giving thanks for all that was.
“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” Meister Eckhart
Thinking back over the years waking up the morning after a family tragedy, it is a bit easier with each hour and each offering of condolence. With each thank you it seems it becomes easier to smile. Most folks are still asleep as I sit here putting my thoughts in gear. I started burning a candle on my desk a few weeks back and the flickering provides a nice ambiance as I write. When I saw Eckhart’s quote the so many days ago my first thought was to save it and use it on Thanksgiving Day but as the past few days so many words have been exchanged and each time a heart felt thank you. I really think it goes beyond a day or a situation.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie
“Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life.” Northrup Christine
Being grateful opens doors and let’s people in which provides for each person to go beyond that point to which they started. It allows us to share. Gratitude is an aspect of the heart, an opening of the door to the heart. Gratefulness can lift you up and take you beyond where you are now because it is providing additional hands and strength.
“Gratitude is the heart’s memory.” French Proverb
“It is another’s fault if he is ungrateful, but it is mine if I do not give. To find one thankful man, I will oblige a great many that are not so.” Seneca
Gratitude requires giving and in giving we are also offering of ourselves and building up within our own hearts and souls. It is part of being human of being vulnerable. It is an aspect of love to share and except in return. Gratitude is a closeness of human understanding as we journey through life.
“The human contribution is the essential ingredient. It is only in the giving of oneself to others that we truly live.” Ethel Percy Andrus
“It is possible to give without loving, but it is impossible to love without giving.” Richard Braustein
Life is about giving, what you offer to others is how and where you are placed in life and many times provides the vehicle for you journey through life. As I walked about the school yesterday and people asked “how are you”? Or offered their condolences and I returned the kindness with a thank you, I was being lifted up as were they. Each person each word added to my own understanding of where I was and who I was and why I was feeling all I was feeling. So often in Native American thought the circle is used showing how life is about the repetition the return to where we came from.
“In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us.” Flora Edwards
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” Kahlil Gibran
So often we think of giving simply as offering a bit of money or food, but in reality giving of your self is the hardest and most rewarding. Caring about people and sharing is much harder than simply providing a dollar or a can. For many years on my wall was the Zen saying of; “You can give a man a fish and feed him for a day or teach a man to fish and feed him for life.” Often I have found teachers teach for gratitude. That sense of having taught of having provided the means for a student to lift themselves up. I use the term symbiotic in relation to teaching. Gratitude as well is symbiotic it is both giving and receiving. The gratitude comes back within our hearts.
“He who obtains has little. He who scatters has much.” Lao Tzu
“A handful of pine-seed will cover mountains with the green majesty of forests. I too will set my face to the wind and throw my handful of seed on high.” Fiona Macleod
When forester’s timber areas often they will leave several healthy older trees to seed the remaining land. I have been in areas where clear cutting has occurred and several years later a new forest has already started on its own. But it is important to plant seeds to scatter them to be a friend and to let friendships grow.
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” Mother Teresa
“The more credit you give away, the more will come back to you. The more you help others, the more they will want to help you.” Brian Tracy –
“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” Edith Wharton
I remember a candlelight service many years ago one person carefully started and handed their light to another’s candle and each in turn went through the room lighting another’s and soon the room was filled with light. Gratitude is much like a candle light service. If we share our light and love and pass it on to the person next to you it grows and illuminates. If we say thank you as you receive from another and offer always to another. What power and strength can we gain? So often life hands us unexpected surprises and gratitude extends and magnifies those times. So please as we get into a new day keep all in harms way on your mind and in your hearts.